Punxsy Man Accused of Sexual Contact with Minor

BELL TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man is facing charges for allegedly having sexual contact with a minor following a police investigation into a January 2017 incident.

According to court documents, Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against Mark Thomas Farnsworth, 27, of Punxsutawney.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, March 19, 2018, an investigation began on January 28, 2017, into Farnsworth, who allegedly had sexual contact with the victim sometime between January 21 and January 22, 2017, at 1788 Graffius Avenue Ext., in Bell Township, Jefferson County.

During an interview with the victim on January 26, she stated that she worked with Farnsworth at a fast food restaurant in DuBois. They devised a plan that she would receive permission to stay at a friend’s house, but would instead meet him.

Around 1:30 a.m. on January 22, 2017, the victim met with Farnsworth in the parking lot outside a business in Falls Creek, and then he took her to his residence at 1788 Graffius Avenue Ext.

They proceeded to “his bedroom where they talked before having sex and then going to sleep. Farnsworth then took the victim to a work meeting and then dropped her off,” according to the complaint.

State police viewed text messages on the victim’s phone that she had with Farnsworth.

According to the complaint, the messages depicted the victim making arrangement to meet Farnsworth at a Falls Creek business and also Farnsworth allegedly telling the victim to keep her “mouth shut” regarding the two of them getting together.

On August 4, 2017, State Trooper Rupp interviewed Farnsworth at the Punxsutawney barracks.

According to the complaint, Farnsworth became aware of her allegations at work and was even confronted at the fast food restaurant by the victim’s parents shortly before she quit.

Farnsworth said he wasn’t sure why he was being accused of having sex with the victim because it never happened.

He said he was friendly with the victim at work and on Facebook, but he denied ever meeting her outside of work, denied picking her up, and denied that she ever came to his house or spending the night with him.

Farnsworth told Trooper Rupp that he was under house arrest at the time and had only a short timeframe to get from work to home. When confronted with the text messages between the two of them, Farnsworth told Trooper Rupp that he wanted to speak to an attorney before any more questioning, according to the complaint.

Farnsworth said that “he had been wronged in the past by the Jefferson County legal system. He said he had been upfront and told the truth about previous criminal behavior and still ended up going prison,” the complaint states.

On August 7, 2017, Trooper Rupp spoke with Farnsworth’s probation officer, and she provided a house arrest event log for January 21 to January 22, 2017. The log showed Farnsworth had a “check-in call” at 11:59 p.m. on January 21 and the next event in the log was a “return” event which occurred at 1:47 a.m. on January 22.

On January 23, 2018, Trooper Rupp requested and received a copy of Farnsworth’s paycheck verification report from the fast food restaurant. It indicated Farnsworth clocked out at 1:20 a.m. on January 22, 2017.

According to police, the clock out time adds credibility to the timeline provided by the victim that Farnsworth picked her up in Falls Creek around 1:30 a.m. on January 22.

On March 19, 2018, one first-degree misdemeanor count of corruption of minors was filed against Farnsworth in Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 9, with Judge Mizerock presiding.

Previous Offenses:

Farnsworth has pending charges in Greene County for drug possession, forgery, and theft, according to court documents.

In Jefferson County, Farnsworth was in the ARD program for DUI.

He also pleaded guilty to theft by deception and served one-year probation in a 2015 case.

Farnsworth served time in Jefferson County after pleading guilty to a drug charge and forgery in two 2015 cases.

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